Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kids These Days...

Every now and again, Sidney gives me an abrupt reminder what a time warp I live in. This usually occurs in the car when we are listening to XM. 80's on 8, 90's on 9. This is what good music is! She very outspokenly disagrees. I believe her exact words were, "well if this was good music when you were growing up, then I am sorry for you." Yes, thank you, Sidney.

It's fairly amusing how different things are now then when I was a kid... Back in the day (the 80s as Sidney refers to it) our pranks were toilet papering peoples house, applying a single layer of plastic wrap to some unsuspecting parent's toilet seat and putting a friend's hand in warm water to get them to pee themselves if they fell asleep first at a sleep-over. Our music artists of choice were Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Debbie Gibson (for good measure). Candy was awesome - real sugar and lots of it. Remember the wax candy that was absolutely tasteless, but you just had to buy it for the pop-like substance inside of the wax soda bottle? Pure bliss.

I took a walk down memory lane this weekend as Sidney and her friend Sydnie went to a roller skating party and then returned to our home to play for the rest of the day. It also led me to do a comparison of then versus now as Sidney utilized Apple TV to play her tunes from her iPod through the TV. Pink, Bieber and Katy Perry were among the artist these girls were cutting a rug to. Arguably, the two female artists have some riskee lyrics - kind of like Madonna back in the day. We certainly keep those songs to a minimum but I'm certain that nothing she listens to is as suggestive as "Like a Virgin."

The girls had plenty of energy for their dance party because they brought home goodie bags full of loot - and in their case, candy. When dinosaurs roamed the earth and I went to friends' birthday parties, I took them a gift. They certainly didn't send me home with a $10 party favor. Times have changed and so has candy. Out of the bag came an Icee shaped aerosol bottle that sprayed liquid sugar. Yes, you read that right - spray liquid crack right into your mouth! Completely nuts! I'm sure it tasted better than my wax soda bottles and I'm not sure why I think that Sidney's party favor is any more appalling than my wax candy. But, it is. It just seems wrong.

And, what gathering would be complete without some type of prank? Clearly these two were cracked out on liquid sugar, cake, ice cream, pop and whatever else they were fed at the party...why not do something "funny" to the old people?! Prank of the day was creating a password for dear old Mom's iPad and locking her out. Funny, right? Yea, not so much. Somehow it seems more appropriate to Saran Wrap a toilet seat and let someone pee all over the floor - I mean bleach is relatively inexpensive and after all that's a real hoot, right? My mother (who this did happen to) would beg to differ.

I guess as much as things change, they really stay the same.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Year Marks the Spot

One year ago today...around this very time of evening, I was at the bedside of my Granddad saying my final goodbyes. Alongside of my brother, sister in law, cousin, mom and Grandie the pain of loss was the air we were breathing. I have never felt pain so deep. So profound. It was only a matter of hours before he traded this world for a perfect body in eternity. Heaven gained an angel the morning of February 3, 2011.

One year later I am left to reflect.

The pain isn't gone. Some days it is more dull than others. The absence of my Granddad is felt week in and week out. My mind has fully accepted that he is gone. My heart is not quite there yet. When you have lived a life as my Granddad has, when you have left a legacy of honor, integrity and love as he did - it makes it very difficult for those left behind to let go.

Granddad was an incredible man. I remember him today. Everyday.

A Tribute to My Granddad - February 8, 2011:

We are here today to honor the memory of William “Bill” Chipps and to celebrate his life.  He was a devoted husband.  A loving father.  An exceptional Granddad.  A doting Great Granddad.  Wonderful Uncle & loyal friend.  He enjoyed ninety years of life, sixty four years of marriage to Miriam, two children, four grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.  He lived his life surrounded by those he loved and many who loved him.  

Bill enjoyed working with his hands.  He could often be found fixing something that was broken—or doing maintenance so that it wouldn’t break.  He offered his expertise to his church, his family, his friends.  There was no challenge that he met that could not be fixed.  He often went to sleep with the problem in mind, and awoke in the morning with the solution.

He always was very active and loved to woodwork, fish, golf, bowl, travel and spend time at his cabin in Piedmont.  Many friends and family members participated in friendly competition with Bill either on the golf course or at the bowling alley.  We enjoyed many trips creating life-long memories with Bill.  Be it a vacation out West in a converted camper, a jaunt to the beach where we were walked out in the ocean to where the tide breaks to catch a wave or a weekend cruising the lake and fishing in Piedmont.  These are the priceless memories that we will hold, cherish and pass down for days and years to come.  

The Chipps family reunions at Wingfoot Lake were always a highlight of the summer—for all of us.  There was a certain anticipation that came along with every year to see family who had traveled from various parts of the country come together for one day to celebrate one thing—being family.  Whether it was a ride on a paddle boat, playing a game of horseshoes, a friendly game of sand volleyball or whirling on a merry-go-round, Bill ensured that this one day was a memorable one for all who attended.  In families sometimes there is a member who acts as the "glue" that holds the family together.  He was that "glue."

Heritage was also very important to Bill.  Knowing where you came from and how that shaped where you were going was a golden nugget that he passed along to all of us.  If you were willing to sit and listen, he was amenable to share his stories, challenges, triumphs and life lessons with you.  We’ve all learned, benefited and become better people as a result of his life.  His heritage.

For those of us who were lucky enough to be a part of his family, we learned much from him.  He taught us the value of family—relying on each other, helping one another and spending time together.   The value of a hard day’s work and the necessity of rest.  The importance of faith in Christ and involvement in church.   Determination to see something through, start to finish.  Through his demonstration of unconditional love we all became closely entwined with Bill.  He was an extraordinary role model, mentor and encourager.  

 “But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”  “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:  for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
We find  peace and solace that “Bill”, “Dad”, “Granddad”, “Great Granddad”, “Uncle Bill” has become whole again and we will see him again one day in Glory.  Until then, we will miss you sorely.